USC Medical School Acceptance Rate 2024

Curious about your chances of getting into USC Medical School? Discover the USC Medical School acceptance rate and what it means for aspiring medical students. Dive into the factors influencing admissions and gain insights into crafting a competitive application.

The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) has a rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1885 as one of the first professional schools at the institution. As the region’s inaugural medical school and the oldest in California, its initial graduating class comprised nine students, including a pioneering female student.

Today, Keck boasts a student body of over 1,200, with the most recent entering class, slated to graduate in 2025, comprising 58% females. Its diverse array of 24 academic programs, encompassing both basic and clinical disciplines, prioritizes research, with a faculty of 1,500 dedicated professionals leading the charge. Keck offers a traditional Doctor of Medicine program alongside undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. options, as well as postdoctoral and continuing education avenues.

Keck’s dual-degree programs afford students the opportunity to pursue an M.D. concurrently with a master’s in public health or business administration. The institution’s commitment to research is evident in its annual production of over $230 million in sponsored research, covering a wide spectrum of healthcare domains from oncology to neuroscience to cardiology. Additionally, students inclined towards research can participate in the joint M.D./Ph.D. program.

USC Medical School Acceptance Rate

USC Medical School Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at USC’s Keck School of Medicine is notably competitive, standing at just 2.3%. In a recent admissions cycle, the school received 8,181 applications vying for only 186 available spots.

Comparatively, the lowest acceptance rate in the nation was observed at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine in nearby Pasadena, California, admitting just 1% of applicants. USC’s Keck School shares a similar acceptance rate with other prestigious institutions such as the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and Stanford University School of Medicine.

Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications early in the admissions cycle to enhance their chances of acceptance, as Keck initiates the interview process as early as August and continues on a rolling basis until March, filling the incoming class.

As of 2021, Keck boasted a total student body of 749, with an equal distribution of men and women. The majority (83%) of the entering class of 2025 hailed from California, with 19% having completed their undergraduate studies at USC and another 19% graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles.

USC Medical School Tuition

For the academic year 2021-2022, tuition at the Keck School of Medicine amounts to $67,472 annually. Additional expenses, such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation, may vary depending on the student’s academic year. As a result, first-year medical students should anticipate approximately $104,000 in total expenses, followed by approximately $108,500 and $109,800 in the second and third years, respectively. The estimated cost decreases slightly to around $101,500 for the final year of medical school.

In comparison to national averages for tuition, fees, and health insurance during the 2020-2021 academic year, students attending public, in-state medical schools paid approximately $39,150, while those attending private, out-of-state medical schools paid up to $64,494. Notably, the University of South Carolina’s medical school ranked as the most expensive in the country, with out-of-state students facing tuition and fees totaling $91,557, compared to $47,295 for in-state students. Similar to Keck, other institutions with comparable tuition costs include the Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Duke University School of Medicine.

To alleviate financial burdens, USC offers various forms of financial aid, with over 80% of Keck medical students benefiting from assistance. Fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships are awarded based on financial need and academic merit, ensuring accessibility to quality education for all students.

USC Medical School Requirements

Prospective students interested in USC’s medical program must complete an application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), in addition to Keck’s supplemental application. Required documents include official transcripts and MCAT scores. USC considers all MCAT scores if taken multiple times, provided they are within a few years of applying.

Applicants are also required to submit three letters of recommendation or a committee letter. If more than three letters are submitted, the application reviewers will select three for consideration. USC conducts interviews as part of the admission process, utilizing a “closed-file” setup where interviewers cannot access the candidate’s applications.

For those applying to the joint M.D./Ph.D. program, if not accepted, USC automatically considers them for the M.D. program. Additionally, a waitlist exists for candidates not initially accepted, and unsuccessful applicants are permitted to re-apply.

While prerequisites are not mandatory for application, USC notes that successful applicants typically demonstrate proficiency in various sciences. The entering class of 2025 showcased strong academic credentials, with admitted students boasting a median MCAT score of 517 out of 528 and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.8.

Notable Alumni of USC Medical School

USC’s Keck School of Medicine boasts a distinguished roster of alumni, many of whom have made significant contributions in various fields:

1. Dr. Paul Nassif: A world-renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Nassif earned both his bachelor’s degree and doctorate in medicine from USC. He is widely respected in his field and is known for his appearances on the E! reality television show “Botched.”

2. Dr. Drew Pinsky: Also known as Dr. Drew, he gained fame through numerous television appearances, including hosting his own series such as “Dr. Drew on Call” and “Loveline,” a nationally syndicated radio show. Dr. Drew, an alumnus of USC, is recognized for his expertise in addiction medicine.

3. Dr. Jeffrey Ross Gunter: After graduating from Keck, Dr. Gunter pursued a career in dermatology and later served as a clinical professor of medicine at USC. He also held the position of chief resident of dermatology at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. Additionally, Dr. Gunter served as the U.S. ambassador to Iceland from 2019 to 2021.

4. Rep. Karen Bass: A graduate of Keck’s physician assistant program, Rep. Bass represents the 37th Congressional District in Congress. She previously worked as a clinical instructor at USC, demonstrating her commitment to both healthcare and public service.

These notable alumni exemplify the diverse and impactful careers that graduates of USC’s medical school pursue, spanning medicine, television, politics, and diplomacy.

USC Medical School Ranking

USC’s medical school consistently ranks among the top institutions in the nation and has recently climbed in various rankings:

1. U.S. News & World Report: In the 2022 rankings, Keck School of Medicine was listed as the 29th best medical school for research, up from 31st the previous year. Additionally, it tied for 46th place among the best medical schools for primary care. Keck was also recognized as one of the most diverse medical schools, tying for 26th in this category.

2. Princeton Review: Keck School of Medicine was included in the Princeton Review’s list of the nation’s best schools for medicine, although it was not ranked.

3. Niche: USC received an A+ overall score from Niche, with high ratings for academics, diversity, and other significant academic and lifestyle factors.

4. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS): USC was featured in QS’s guide to the world’s best medical schools for 2021, tying for 98th place alongside Osaka University in Japan and the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

These rankings affirm USC’s commitment to excellence in medical education and research, further solidifying its reputation as a leading institution in the field of medicine.

Should You Attend USC Medical School?

Attending USC Medical School offers students a comprehensive education within a prestigious institution, equipping them for successful careers in medicine:

1. Prestigious Institution: Graduating from USC Medical School not only provides a degree from a renowned university but also signifies a well-rounded education highly regarded in the medical field.

2. State-of-the-Art Facilities: Situated on USC’s Health Sciences Campus, students have access to top-notch facilities, including Keck Hospital and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, fostering a conducive environment for learning and research.

3. Dedicated Faculty: With over 1,500 full-time faculty members and 2,400 voluntary faculty physicians, USC boasts an impressively low student-faculty ratio of 2.7:1, ensuring personalized attention and mentorship for students.

4. Innovative Curriculum: USC follows the “Physician – Citizen – Scholar Curriculum,” emphasizing not only clinical skills but also community engagement and scientific inquiry, preparing students to be well-rounded physicians.

5. Hands-On Experience: Students gain valuable hands-on experience early on, working with a diverse patient population across various medical settings, allowing for practical application of learned concepts.

6. Impactful Alumni Network: USC Medical School boasts over 7,000 alumni, many of whom have made significant contributions to medically underserved and rural areas, reflecting the school’s commitment to serving communities in need.

Overall, USC Medical School offers a holistic medical education that prepares students to excel in their medical careers while making meaningful contributions to society.

Conclusion on USC Medical School Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at USC Medical School is highly competitive, with only 2.3% of applicants gaining admission. Despite the rigorous selection process, USC Medical School offers a prestigious and comprehensive education that prepares students for successful careers in medicine. With state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated faculty, innovative curriculum, and hands-on clinical experience, students at USC Medical School receive the necessary training and mentorship to become well-rounded physicians. Additionally, the school’s impactful alumni network reflects its commitment to serving medically underserved communities. While gaining admission to USC Medical School may be challenging, those who are accepted benefit from a transformative educational experience that equips them to make significant contributions to the field of medicine.


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